By Ruan Lezar
I arrived at the Cape Town International Airport on Sunday, 19 October 2016. My heart was pounding as my Workaway International journey was about to begin. I said goodbye to all my loved ones and then I was on my way to the sunshine state, Florida USA, with thanks to my wonderful new family - Workaway International. I must admit, stepping into the unknown made me a bit anxious. During the months that led up to the departure, Charlotte and her team from Workaway International was with me every step of the way. They emailed me after I landed in America, wanting to know if I was settled and doing well. That meant so much to me.
Within my first week at Vero Beach, I became friends with some of the local people and other people who were also part of the Workaway International program. The managers allowed us to discover ourselves and helped mould us into the best we can be. This allowed me to establish what I am good at. My working experience was the highlight of my trip and if you are doing what you love, you will never feel like you are actually working. Members quickly grew fond of us and whenever they come in for lunch or dinner it felt as if you are seeing an old friend.
My creativity and talents were tested by F&B Manager, Ralph Wagner, as I became the personal High Tea coordinator of the art gallery. I am passionate about art and I was lucky enough to see the work of Christopher Le Brun. Every day, new faces walked into the gallery and hearing them speak about the art and the tea served was so rewarding.
Toward the end of the season, my colleagues started leaving to go back home. I realised that they are no longer just friends, they have become my family. As I am sitting at a restaurant back in South Africa, I am looking at the waitrons around me and I think to myself that Workaway International is the chance that can change your life like it did mine.
I learned so much about myself; my strengths and my weaknesses, who I really am and what I am capable of. In life we just need that one push, that one person to believe in you and will hold your hand, pick you up when you do not feel worthy and stand with you when everything seems to be against you. The answer to that is Workaway International.